To DP or not to DP?

That is the question raised last night when this MLS report surfaced listing every current and past Designated Player since the rule was introduced in 2007.  To the surprise of many the Fire have one name on the list this season and you would have been hard pressed to guess who that could have possibly been given the latest league salary report.

Federico Puppo's name appears on the list as a Designated Player. Yes, Federico Puppo.

The Players Union report lists Puppo at $100,000.00 in guaranteed compensation for 2012 but as stated in last week's Salary Cap review the MLSPU report isn't always the definitive source for attempting to decipher what is actually spent on player acquisitions since no information is given on transfer fees, allocation transactions, etc.  Puppo was acquired in January from Danubio FC but his rights were actually held by Uruguayan Primera Division rivals River Plate who had loaned him to Danubio. The deal to get Puppo to Chicago included a transfer fee paid to Danubio in order to buy his rights, which the Fire now hold.  That transfer fee, by MLS rules designated him as a DP although his salary was not over the $350,000 mark that is typically the threshold used to identify such a player.

Due to the ever complicated process that is MLS budgeting, Puppo is a DP since the total sum of the transaction to bring him to Chicago equaled the cost of a DP slot.  The good news is that the transfer fee apparently doesn't affect the total salary cap/budget total this year or next so it should not preclude the club from adding reinforcements during the next transfer window.  His salary amount is the only figure affecting the total budget cost.  The bad news is that since Puppo was technically brought in as a DP that designation will remain with him throughout the duration of his stay with the club thereby taking up one of the valuable two DP slots that are available without paying an additional fee.

Either way, the amount of resources expended doesn't add up to the return on a player who could essentially be a capable reserve at best.


Filed under: 2012 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Double penetration?

  • In reply to ChadHopkins:

    I guess that headline will draw some traffic from pervs searching the internet for that sort of thing.............

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    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Come on Guillermo, you KNEW somebody was going to go there!

  • In reply to Freddy Coba:

    Ha! I probably did.

  • "The good news is that the transfer fee apparently doesn't affect the total salary cap/budget total this year or next "

    Huh? The definition of a DP is a budget hit of greater than $350k. If Puppo's salary is $100k, what gives?

  • In reply to iron81:

    They could have used allocation to buy down that budget hit is my guess why he wouldn't count as $350K against but I've been told the hit is not $350K but just the salary amount in this case.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    If you use allocation money to buy down the budget hit of a player who would otherwise be a DP, he's not a DP. See Sharlie Joseph last year.

  • In reply to iron81:

    See the 2012 roster rules......

    "Clubs have the option of “buying down” the budget charge of a Designated Player with allocation money. The reduced charge may not be less than $150,000."

    MLS roster rules are clear as mud......

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    But if they used allocation money, then that is allocation money that can't be used on someone else.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Right. Either way it's not a particularly good use of allocation money and/or "real" money for that matter.

  • so where were the fireworks when he came on to the field the first time? that just makes me sick, apparently leon is a horrible judge in talent.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    This is squarely on the shoulders of Petrei and Leon. Both had HEAVY hands in bringing Puppo in.

  • Should have kept Chaves? I thought he proved to be a good back-up, was he asking for too much moolah?

    Redonks. I don't care how Puppo became a DP, he shouldn't be one.

  • In reply to Drew:

    To save the trouble, they should have kept Chaves. At least he showed some flashes of attacking towards the net. Breakdown on Puppo's season versus Chaves at Palestino: Puppo: 11 games 0 goals 1 assist. Chaves: 12 games (8 started) 3 goals 0 assist (Primera Apertura).

  • In reply to Drew:

    I belive the issue with Chaves was a big cap hit. There's little doubt in my mind he was a better player than Puppo. The most disturbing part of the whole deal is that they felt Puppo was good enough, despite a whopping 2 goals in 10 games in his
    last season at Danubio to shell out a significant transfer fee for.

  • The FO did exactly what many people wanted them to do: replace serviceable but unspectacular veterans (Chaves) with expensive new guys hoping for a quick fix. Sometimes you just have to recognize that the talent that you have will work and and give them a chance to develop chemistry. If someone new pops up that will be a good fit, great, but our team is good enough to compete.

    And before you say "I wanted them to get GOOD expensive players", there is ALWAYS a risk that a new guy won't work out.

  • In reply to iron81:

    This is all true and I, for one, was never calling for Chaves to be replaced. Actually, I don't remember many people calling for a change with him. I thought he was a good back up forward and showed he could finish at least the chances that he should finish.

    Of course it's good to take calculated risks on occasion and they don't all work out, but I don't look at Puppo's history and see the stats to back up any significant money or allocation money or whatever to get him.

  • In reply to iron81:

    That all is true, but in Puppo's case, it still doesn't change the fact that he's a small guy who can't physically compete against the majority of backline's in MLS.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    he's small and he's also not a burner like oduro, nor particularly crafty with the ball. in fact, he's been sloppy with his opportunities, so i'm not sure what exactly he brings to the table. maybe he'll score one of these days, get some confidence and go on a tear! (one can dream, right?)

  • I'm going to start speculating because, well, why not?

    Because allocation money rolls over from season to season, but budget space does not, in general it's preferable to use budget space to pay people's salaries. There are two reasons I can think of why one would use allocation money instead: either there isn't enough budget space to fit the full $350k DP cap hit or Frank has other plans for the space.

    But Guillermo is saying we have plenty of space in the budget. So between keeping our budget powder dry and the half dozen strikers that have been linked to the Fire in the past month in various rumors, I think we can be pretty sure they plan on signing somebody.

  • In reply to iron81:

    I'm pretty sure they're trying to bring another forward in. I think they've got the space to add one but the MLS lack of transparency in salary cap addition leaves us with nothing but speculation.

    The cap hit for a real DP at this point would only be $175k since he would join the team in July. They would then need to clear some space for the full load next year but I'd also expect that Robayo and Puppo won't be here in 2013.

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